WANTED: Book or Screencast Series Focused on Dijit

Frustration With JSF

I use JavaServer Faces (JSF) professionally to develop a web application. The development experience for me was rough initially and the learning curve was quite steep. Over time I have learned that the majority of this difficulty had to do with the complexity and incompatibility of our customizations to JSF rather than JSF itself. Now I know how our customizations work and how valuable they are. This problem exists regardless of framework and indicates a need for restraint in the tendency to customize.

Playing The Field

Time and again I found myself searching for alternatives to JSF for future consideration. This led me originally to The Dojo Toolkit which was almost 180° different in philosophy to JSF: more a frustrated rebellion against JSF than a really productive exercise.

My Dojo experiment eventually led to a very slick and fast piece of UI. Unfortunately it was backed on an incredibly complex custom Dojo 0.4 widget written in JavaScript. The response from my colleagues was not favorable because it would be very hard to maintain due to inexperience with JavaScript. The complexity of the code and the time it took to develop were also excessive. This suggested that a development process using it would not meet the time constraints with the team we had.

Clearly further education on The Dojo Toolkit and restraint in the desire to customize it would help.

Formal Education In Dojo

Dojo has improved significantly since 0.4 and since then a couple of books have been released. I have read part of the Pragmatic Programmers book which I purchased the instant I saw it in beta. However, I found that it does not satisfy my goals and I quickly bored of it since it was not clear how to follow the examples. The Pragmatic Programmers Dojo book tried to feed me an elephant in a single bite and I choked.

In Search Of The Ideal Dijit Book

I want a Dijit book, not a Dojo book. My ideal Dijit book would only introduce other Dojo capabilities insofar as they facilitate effective user interface development. Many GUI framework books I have read take this approach to minimize unnecessary exposure to the details of the underlying framework or programming language. The screencasts for Ruby on Rails are a great example of this approach. I was able to effectively develop experimental applications in Rails with ease without every laying eyes on a Ruby tutorial. I want this for Dijit.

Love The One You're With

In the mean time I will continue to expand my understanding of JSF. I need that for my career and for the sake of my colleagues, both of which I enjoy and value deeply.